- International Solar Alliance (ISA) was launched in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former President of France Francois Hollande at the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France.
- The Paris Declaration that established the ISA states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts to reduce the cost of finance and technology for deployment of solar generation assets.
- ISA was conceived as a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs.
- More than 60 countries have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement.
- As guided by the Framework Agreement of the ISA, the interests and objectives of the ISA are as follows:
- To collectively address key common challenges to scale up solar energy applications in line with their needs;
- To mobilize investments of more than USD 1000 billion by 2030;
- To take coordinated action through programmes and activities launched on a voluntary basis, aimed at better harmonization, aggregation of demand, risk and resources, for promoting solar finance, solar technologies, innovation, R&D, capacity building etc.;
- Reduce the cost of finance to increase investments in solar energy in member countries by promoting innovative financial mechanisms and mobilizing finance from Institutions;
- Facilitate collaborative research and development (R&D) activities in solar energy technologies among member countries.
- Countries that do not fall between the Tropics can also join the ISA and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.
- The Permanent Secretariat of ISA will be located in India at Gurugram, the first time that an inter-governmental treaty-based alliance will have its headquarters in India. The Interim Secretariat of the ISA is located at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram.
Why in News?
- The UN General Assembly has conferred Observer Status to the International Solar Alliance, a historic decision which India said would help provide for a well-defined cooperation between the Alliance and the United Nations that would benefit global energy growth and development.
- In a short span of six years, the ISA has become an example of how positive global climate action can be taken forward through partnerships. ISA provides a dedicated platform for cooperation among Governments, multilateral organisations, industry, and other stakeholders to help achieve a common goal.
- The granting of Observer Status to ISA in the General Assembly would help provide for regular and well-defined cooperation between the Alliance and the United Nations that would benefit global energy growth and development.
- A total of 80 countries have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement and 101 countries have only signed the agreement.